“ Brand: Asda / Type: Chicken „
With moving the past week or so I haven't really had much in the way of cooking facilities and nowhere to really store food so what I've been doing is buying ready meals that I can pop in the microwave every couple or so days. I love sweet and sour dishes from the Chinese so decided to to give this a go as it only costs £1.20 a box and I really fancied it!
The box is dark orange and black and the same in appearance both sides with a photograph of the meal on it and we are told that it Asda 'Chosen By You', Sweet & Sour Chicken 'Chicken breast strips in a tangy sauce served with rice' and that it contains no artificial colours, flavours or hydrogenated fat, the weight is stated which is 400g and there is an at a glance nutritional chart shown. Other information listed on the other sides of the box includes ingredients and allergy advice, there is a full nutritional chart given as are the cooking instructions and contact details for Asda. Its a nice enough informative box and inside there are two rather full looking square pouches which are sealed, one containing the sweet and sour and the other containing the rice.
To cook this you have two options to choose from. You can simmer it on the hob for around 30 minutes or do as I did and bung it in the microwave for about 8 minutes.
I found this to cook perfectly in the time stated though it was hard to get out of the pouches as it was all so hot but once I did I had a large serving of al dente white rice that tasted unseasoned to me and was very plain in flavour but not soggy or anything adverse like that and looked nice enough on my plate.
The sweet & sour however was disappointing. Once I got the contents out of the pouch there was a really small amount of the sweet and sour chicken in comparison to the portion of rice. There was a thick bright orange sauce which to be fair to it did taste like I'd expect a sweet and sour sauce to taste like being a little sweet and a little sour although I didn't feel there was enough of it really. Within that you get 13% chicken breast which is large, juicy and plump pieces however you only get about 4 of those and then small slithers of soggy red and green pepper. I found no pieces of pineapple within this dish though that is listed on the ingredient list and I really did look for it and no sweetcorn either although once again we are told that there is 3.4% of it meant to be within it but I found none.
Overall I wasn't overly keen on this meal to be honest. The sauce tasted sticky and sweet, the bit of chicken within it was tasty enough though the rice was bland and I'm not on bit keen on soggy peppers and there really isn't enough of the sweet and sour at all! Ok if your hungry, but nothing special!
Nutritional Information Per Meal:
Only available in Asda stores.
You know when you are hungry but are not sure what it is you want to eat and just browse a supermarket until you find it? Yeah? Well this is how I came across purchasing this product.
I was peckish and therefore decided on this product as it looked tasty on the box and because it was one of those sliding boxes when you can see the product inside, I had a look and seemed satisfied.
This product was priced at £2 individually, which is a little more expensive for ready meal products, however I thought that maybe the quality would make up for this. This product can also be purchased as a 3 for £5 deal which includes being mixed and matched with various other chilled ready meals in Asda.
So what does it look like?
Well, it varies slightly from the image above as it has been updated, but the box is well presented and as mentioned before, it slides off so the meal can be seen. The plastic that holds the meal is split in half. On the left hand side was the Egg fried rice and on the right was the Sweet and sour chicken dish.
The nutritional information is displayed clearly on the front along with the expiration date.
There is also a photograph of the product on the front, though this is more of a serving suggestion, it did look pretty accurate.
This is where the product went down hill! I got this meal out of the fridge so that I could put it in the microwave to warm up. I took off the cardboard sleeve and found that the side of the plastic tray inside had split a little bit and this meant the cardboard had sweet and sour sauce leaked into it. This caused problems when it came to warming it up as the hotter it got, the more the sauce ran out of the packed and this caused a mess. Not so convenient for convenience foods right?
The next problem I encountered was when it came to taking off the film lid, this didn't pull off well and ended up shredding a lot and dipping into the sauce. This then meant I had to fish the plastic film out which again made more mess. So far, not impressed!
Im not going to lie, what there was left to eat after the leakage etc, it did taste good, maybe not quite worth the £2 that I payed, but i think the preparation didn't help really! The sauce was a really nice texture and taste and went well with the rice, its one of the better ready meal chinese's that i've eaten. I will say however that there was a lack of veg in the meal, I think i found only 1 piece of pineapple (disappointed as I love the stuff).
I will also mention that the portion was quite small, and therefore would not recommend it for someone who is really hungry or wants to be filled up, i'd go for a real chinese any day!
I have since, written to Asda to complain about the packaging of this product and they have offered me a refund/another meal of same price, which i thought was very reasonable of them.
Thanks for reading.